Local Motors Blog

Real-time updates

Local Motors Electric Verrado: How To Basics

Engineer and drift trike enthusiast Matt Jackson goes over the basics and safety of how to ride your Local Motors Electric Verrado.

Don't forget to back this project on Kickstarter so we can put it into production!


Tandem Body Going On This Week

Really exciting news coming from LM Labs today! The Tandem is finally getting a body! See a rendering of the look, and stay tuned for photos later this week on the project page!


How Local Motors Is 3D Printing The DDM Car Chassis(Tub)

Allegra and James are at ORNL today starting the first test print of the DDM Car’s chassis/tub. While the final car will be printed as a monocoque (body, chassis, et all as a single piece) we are starting with a carbon fiber infused ABS print of just a tub structure in order to build a test mule, which will rather simply be a chassis + powertrain capable of driving around and used to test the integrity of part, prove out the fastening and attachment techniques, and generally answer any other questions we have!

Now that we have enough material in house, we are ready to start the print!

But first, we made sure to set up the GoPro to take time lapsed footage of the near 48hour process.

 Also, when you first turn on the extruder and get the material heated up, there is a slight purging process to make sure the bead is at optimal conditions when you start the print. Here is a picture of what comes out. This is a great demonstration of how thick the bead of material is at the moment. The ORNL team is currently coming out with some different nozzles to vary the bead size, so stay tuned for that in the next couple months! It may allow us more flexibility in the structures that are possible with this printing method.

With that complete, it’s time to get started. The printer laid down a bead of the outer perimeter first, and will work in layers of the entire part from bottom to top.

After an hour, it has laid down the entire first layer of the print! (One example of how much work there is still to go to get this process working speedily enough to be a major competitor in manufacturing! –but still way better than the 2500hours it took for just the body of the Urbee car:

It will do two solid layers, then 2 layers at “25% infill” and then two more to create the solid base of the part, from there it will begin to move up into the features. Here is a picture of the rendering of the part as it should look when completed:

For those of you who are interested in bead size and structure, here is a close up of the front end after completing just the first layer:

Another exciting bonus is that today, as it prints, ORNL has 2 thermal cameras hooked up to study the temperature gradients of the part, which will later allow the team to analyze Z-strength and bonding of the layers.

An update to this post:
Unfortunately we were unable to complete the first test piece as intended above at this time due to a couple of issues in the printing process. (Mainly from the contraction of the part as it cooled due to the large nature of the piece, and also the software used to generate the g-code was struggling with the translation.. please see discussions on the materials topic in the upcoming days for more details)
This is a great learning experience on a very, very new technology and process that has not been done before -- so while it did not come out perfectly on our first attempt, we are very excited about the things we are learning and will be at it again shortly! Here is a quick picture of the printing progress a little bit before it went wonky and we made the call to try again at a later date (at about 9 full layers--looking cool!)


Local Motors Cruiser: How To Prep The Brakes

The newest addition to the R&D team, Phil, shows how to prepare the brakes on the Local Motors Cruiser.


First Print Of The Chassis!

The printing has begun! The first print of the 3D Printed Car chassis will take about 48 hours. Here are the first pics taken from Oak Ridge National Lab: 

The first solid layer took about an hour:

Full story coming soon!


New Exterior In Phoenix

First sunset on the new exterior of our Phoenix micro-factory last night! What do you think?


IBM Connected Car is Connected

The computer and head unit for the IBM Connected Car are now in place, there's just a few more revisions on the Galileo Board before it's ready to go. Next up is adding a few straps to the glove box. See this "Internet of Things" project at IBM Impact 2014 this weekend!

Get connected on the project page now. 


RoHAWKtics Pit-Cart Complete

Alex talks about the features of the RoHAWKtics Pit-Cart: lifting capacity, plenty of room for batteries, molle pattern for tactical use, and new handle pivot. Follow this project.


Cruiser To Be Featured At Gizmodo's "Home of the Future"

Corey finishes up one of the electric Cruisers to be featured next month at Gizmodo's "Home of the Future" event in New York. This weeklong exploration of technology and design will present a range of life-simplifying and energy-saving innovations.

Get more info about "Home of the Future"; see more on the Cruiser


Supercharged Rally Fighter Body Checklist

The Supercharged Rally Fighter is coming together! Brandon goes through the checklist prior to putting the body on. It's much easier to check things are working properly in the "Go-Kart" phase before the body goes on as the engine and such are easier to get to.

Follow this project now.


Local Motors CEO On FirstBuild & GE Partnership

Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers speaks at the announcement of GE's FirstBuild press conference about the first micro-factory in Louisville. He speaks about why FirstBuild is personal to him. Learn more at firstbuild.com.


Kickstarter Project: Awesome Verrado Extras

Wow! Thanks to the amazing community for getting us to 200% of our funding goal for the Verrado Electric Drift Trike! Matt talks about the sweet t-shirts available at the $25 level, and the brand new seat colors and rim choices now available at the $1,560 level. Just a few days left so don't miss out -- back it now!


The Verrado Shirts Have Arrived!

The Local Motors crew is so grateful for the AMAZING community response to the Verrado Kickstarter campaign so far! Thanks to YOU, we have reached 195% of our goal and there's still 13 days left to pledge. We just received a limited shipment of Verrado t-shirts - with a pledge of just $25, you'll be supporting the Verrado Electric Drift Trike project, and you'll score one of these sweet t-shirts!

Pledge now to secure your drift trike and "Drift This!" t-shirt.

Don't have the cash right now? Show your support by sharing this post with your friends!


3D Printed Car Project Manager On Design Challenge

Allegra West, Project Manager for the 3D Printed Car, provides some details on the 3D Printed Car Design Challenge, and gives some tips on how to win one of the many prizes!

Go to the 3D Printed Car Design Challenge.


Connected Car Gets Ethernet & Touchscreen

Kyle is busy getting the Connected Car ready for the IBM Impact 2014 Conference in Las Vegas on April 27th. Today he installed some bulk head fittings and an ethernet cable so you can literally plug in and get online from the Rally Fighter. The next step is to mount the head unit. Corey gives the detail on the touchscreen installation.

Follow this project to see it come together for IBM Impact 2014!


GE Selects Louisville for First Micro-factory

Our partnership with General Electric is growing! We announced this morning that GE will be opening the first micro-factory for First Build in Louisville. The new FirstBuild micro-factory will be located on the University of Louisville (UofL) Belknap Campus and will officially open this summer.

“To win in the appliance industry, we have to innovate faster than ever before since we are now competing with companies that apply their rapid electronic products introduction strategy to the appliance industry,” said Kevin Nolan, GE Appliances’ vice president of technology.

Read the full press release here.


3D Printed Car Materials Update

James gives a great update on the materials he's been tinkering with for the 3D printed car at ORNL today. He's testing the reinforcement of plastic with glass fiber instead of carbon fiber to get an idea of look, cost, and layer adhesion. Check out some of the test pieces - he printed some cool chairs!

Read James' full comment here


Keyport Giveaway Winners

Thanks to all those who liked, followed, and shared about Local Motors and our friends at Keyport! The winners have been contacted, here are the lucky ones: 

  • Jake S. won 1x Black Rally Fighter Keyport Slide 2.0
  • William E. won 1x White Rally Fighter Keyport Slide 2.0
  • Ernesto D. won a $20 off coupon to the Local Motors Shop
  • Mike S. won a $20 off coupon to the Local Motors Shop
  • Jo B. won a $20 off coupon to the Keyport Store
  • Bats M. won a $20 off coupon to the Keyport Store
  • Ryan S. won a Local Motors T-Shirt
  • Max C. won a Local Motors T-Shirt
  • Dave L. won a Keyport T-Shirt
  • Jason K. won a Keyport T-Shirt
  • Seth S. won a Local Motors Neck Lanyard
  • JP M. won a Local Motors Neck Lanyard

Congratulations to all the winners! Stay tuned for the next giveaway. 


Last Day To Vote For Auto® Design Challenge

There's still a few more hours to vote for your favorite "Machine of the Underworld" in the Auto® Design Challenge! Which vehicle design will roam through Earth’s crust in its bleak future? Tell us now!


Share & Win A New Rally Fighter Keyport!

It's as easy as SHARE and WIN! We've teamed up with our friends at  Keyport to give you awesome free stuff like a customized Rally Fighter Keyport, t-shirts, a discount at the Shop, & more! Click here to start winning. 

Learn more about Keyport.


IMTS Helps Launch 3D Printed Car Design Challenge

Always great having our friends at IMTS in house at the Phoenix micro-factory, and today was an extra special visit as we launched the 3D Printed Car Design Challenge! The winning design will will strongly influence the final design that will be printed and built at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, in September 2014. We can't wait to see what the Local Motors community comes up with this time!

Go to the 3D Printed Car Design Challenge now.  


New Brake System For Cruiser Dev Mule

More R&D on the Local Motors Cruiser: Matt shows the new brake system, and talks about how the sprocket now has two purposes.  


Gas Tank On Next Cruiser Test Mule

Corey demonstrates the difference between the previous gas tank layout on the Local Motors Cruiser, and the improvements made to increase strength and functionality. Ridiculous weld work by Emerson.


Introduction To Local Motors "How To's"

Matt Jackson gives a quick introduction on the new "How To's" feature on the website. This tab includes Build Wiki's and future community instructionals. Right now, you can see the full "How To" for how to build a Rally Fighter. Check out the How To's now.


Thanks To YOU For A Fully Funded Verrado Kickstarter!

Electric Verrado Drift Trike engineer Matt Jackson personally thanks all those who helped us reach our crowdfunding goal in less than 48 hours! There's a limited number of Electric Verrados available on Kickstarter so don't wait, secure yours today!


Local Motors Design Challenges Update

Nyko (idesigncars) shares the latest updates from the Local Motors Community Team: ArtWall Design Challenge voting is live, Auto(r) Design Challenge submission period ends soon, & 3D Printed Car Design Challenge coming next week!


Electric Verrado Kickstarter Campaign is Live!

We're celebrating another crowdfunding milestone at Local Motors today as we kick-off the Electric Verrado Kickstarter Kickstarter campaign! Be one of the first to own the electric version of the Verrado, or just pledge a few bucks so we can put these drift trikes into production! Back this project now


Local Motors Shop Now Features Maxtrax Products

Tony, Build Floor Manager at Local Motors, talks about why he never goes pre-running without Maxtrax products. Shop for Maxtrax Vehicle Recovery products now


ArtWall Challenge Voting Begins!

NemoDesigns kicks off voting for the ArtWall Challenge! The winning design will be displayed in the new community space at the Local Motors Phoenix micro-factory - we'll see it every day, so help us pick the most inspiring one. Vote now!


Check Out These Beauties

If you're cruising through Arizona Bike Week this year, be sure to stop at Cave Creek Tap Haus and see us March 28th - April 6th! We'll have Racers, Rally Fighters, and tons of giveaways!


3D Printing Mount For Galileo Board

Our build crew hit a small snag when trying to mount the Galileo Board in the Rally Fighter. The community team jumped in and found some brackets on Thingsaverse that worked to fix the mounting issue. They were able to quickly print the brackets using one of our Makerbot Replicator 2 3D Printers and the problem was fixed within a few hours.


Local Motors Phoenix Open House April 12th 2014

RSVP today for the next Open House in Phoenix on Saturday April 12th from 10am to 1pm! We'll have free food, Rally Fighter rides, plenty of Shop deals & the special guest will be Octane Raceway! Don't forget this family-friendly event is completely FREE to attend.


3D Printed Car Update: Test Printing Begins

James Earle gave a great, detailed update from ORNL on the DDM Car project yesterday. I thought it was important enough to feature some of the images on the blog because we're now getting to see some of the designed pieces being test printed. Below are a few of the photos I grabbed off the project page but please click here for the full post.


Kickstarting The Electric Verrado

Will you help us crowdfund an Electric Verrado? We have submitted our campaign to Kickstarter, just waiting on approval.. We'll let you know as soon as its live so you can pledge your support, and hopefully be one of the first to own the Electric Verrado!


Rally Fighters, Racer Descend On The Vegas Strip

What happens when you drive two Local Motors Rally Fighters and a Local Motors Racer down the Las Vegas Strip?


New Design Challenge: ArtWall Design Challenge for LM Labs Space

Over the past several months Local Motors has been working hard on the new space that will be home to the design and engineering studios as well as Local Motors Labs. We are really excited about this space and want to involve the community in its development which is why we have launched a design challenge to create a design for the second story balcony wall that surrounds the resource space. The winner of the challenge will receive a custom wrapped Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, which includes the pressure sensitive S Pen stylus which was developed in partnership with Wacom Technologies.  If you want to learn more about the challenge feel free to head over to the challenge page.


Mobi-factory On The Move

The Mobi-factory was packed up and shipped out of Las Vegas this morning! Where is its next destination? Follow the project to find out.


The Mind Behind The Rally Fighter Sconces

Danny Pro, founder of Misjif Motors had his first interaction with Local Motors years ago at the Pebble Beach Concours D'elegance. Jay Rogers walked into Danny's mobile fine art gallery as he was packing up for the week. After a brief exchange, Jay complimented Danny's artwork and said he would be in touch.

A few weeks later, Jay reached out to Danny to tell him more about Local Motors; and invited the automotive artist to design sconces inspired by the not yet built off-road beast we now call the Local Motors Rally Fighter. Danny only had computer images to work with but that's all he needed.

Danny describes the center of the sconce as a replica of the P-51 Mustang Jet (also the main inspiration of the Rally Fighter), and explains that the three beads represent the three guns of the fighter jet. The top of the board mimics the back end of the Rally Fighter and the red flag matches the red flag on the P-51.

After a few months of being displayed with the "Beta" Rally Fighter, Local Motors officially purchased the sconces and now displays the art at the Phoenix micro-factory.

Just a few months away from graduating automotive school, Danny looks forward to training at BMW in California this summer and hopes to work full time as an auto technician while still keeping up his artistic passion.

Check out more of Danny's incredible work below, and on his website misjif.com:

Best of luck Danny, its an honor having your artwork as a part of the history of Local Motors!


A Conversation With Bode Goods

Local Motors recently invited Nevin and Carlan Pontious to the Phoenix Micro-factory to talk about the inspiration behind their unique line of products, like the Man Hanger, and the history of Bode Goods.


What Do You Want In A Racing Simulator?

From the Local Motors Shop Product Acquisition Department, John Dahl asks the Local Motors community what they want in a racing simulator. Vote up this idea & leave your comments on the Ideas page


R/C Rally Fighter Moving Along

Eric talks about the process of getting the 3d printed R/C Rally Fighter body ready for vacuum forming: 


3D Printed Car Update: Scale Model Coming Soon

James Earle of Local Motors gives an update on the 3D printed car project from ORNL. A scale model of the electric vehicle should be printed in the next few weeks!


White Lightning Project

Carson talks about his latest personal project, turning a '92 Ford Explorer into a prerunner. 

Follow Carson's project, and give him your feedback: 


Auto(R) Futu(R)Vision Design Challenge Jury: Ben Mauro

Ben Mauro


Ben Mauro is a US born concept designer and digital sculptor. He studied industrial design and entertainment design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. After college he relocated to Wellington, New Zealand where he worked at Weta Workshop from 2009- 2013, over that time he contributed to a vast array of Film, Television and Videogame projects such as ‘The Hobbit Trilogy’ and ‘Elysium’ among many many others. Before coming to Weta he worked as a freelancer for various clients including Boston Dynamics, Treyarch, LucasFilm, Rhythm & Hues, Activision, EuropaCorp, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Insomniac Games, Design Studio Press and Vishwa Robotics. In 2013 he moved to Singapore working as an independant freelance concept designer where he continues to offer his design services to clients around the world.


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